This past Friday I was reminded some of the reasons that I really and truly love, not only what I am doing, but the fitness world in general and the group of fitness family members that I am lucky enough to have in my world.
Fitness, for me, is not only about finding new ways to push myself, working hard, determination and sweat, it is about community. It is about building a base and finding like minded friends and new family members, it is about finding people in your life that can help motivate, inspire and push you and for you to do the same for them. But when you find the right place to workout, those friends and communities you make and build can also give you so much more.
This past Friday was my birthday and unlike past years where I asked my husband to let me sleep in I wanted to get up and start my year off right. I wanted to spend my morning at the two places that motivate me to no end!!
As One & Flywheel Sports have both given more to me in the last year than just a good sweaty workout. They’ve given me confidence, they’ve given me motivation and they’ve given me another place to call home. So, this was where I wanted to start my birthday.
Heading to the 615AM As One class, I met my friend Tegan there who has been killing it as As One. Mark Merchant had found out earlier in the week that it was my birthday and when he asked how old I was going to be… I should have lied and said 15. But then I wouldn’t have gotten my ass kicked oh so hard! So, Mark made the entire workout around my 34 years of age. When I walked in, Mark was just starting to write the workout on the board. It was branded “Julia-cised” and it started with 3400 Jacob’s Ladder steps. Now, I was nervous because a few weeks ago we each had to do 800 JL steps and I JUST made it… luckily, this was a group effort.
Class started with the entire group standing at the Jacob’s Ladder and us climbing it 4 by 4 till we cumulatively hit 3400. That was tough, but we were no where near finished. Next we had the floor exercises, the stair master and then lastly the bike. Each exercise had to be done 34 times – it started with (as you can see):
- 34 squat jumps with the sand bag
- 34 regular squats back load (sand bag)
- 34 full burpees
- 34 split squats (34 each leg)
- 34 push ups
- 34 bent over rows with sand bag
- 34 dead lifts with sand bag
- 34 front load (sand bag) squats
- 34 Rower sit ups
- Plank holding 34 seconds
- side planks each side holding 34 seconds
- 34 Mountain climbers
While we were doing these exercises we had to hit 34 floors on the stair master. But, we did it in 9 floor increments (until the last where we did 7 floors). So, nine floors then go back to the floor workout. IT. WAS. TOUGH. and I think I had a few daggers thrown my way out of my fellow classmates eyes (I swear I heard, why couldn’t she be younger somewhere in there haha). When we were finished with the floor exercises we had to hit the bike for 34 calories. Then it was a big fat victory and we were finished! What an absolutely awesome and amazing way to start a day! Whether Mark meant to or not, he made my birthday incredibly special at As One. People joke about going there on my birthday or lying about my age to make the workout easier, but the truth is, we are there to work and work hard and to have the exercise be about my birthday and to have Julia-cised up there, made me feel like they love having me there as much as I love being there.
Right after class I met my #fitfam Lindsey McMeen from Train McMeen and I got some fuel at Juice Generation and headed to Danielle Devine’s Flywheel class. I was so thrilled to hit this class on my birthday. Not only am I lucky enough to have an instructor like Danielle in my life, but she has also become on of my dearest friends and to take her class on my bday brought me nothing but joy. I walked into the UWS Flywheel with an incredible onslaught of Happy Birthdays. My face was turning red. As I walked into the classroom, Danielle saw me and turned on Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday. Smile brightened and I was ready to crush the ride. The class was filled with amazing energy, the music was insanely good and Danielle was – as always – on fire. I was able to look around the room and see friends and fierce athletes and it just pushed me harder. At the end of class Danielle gave me another shout out telling the class I was one of her best friends and if anyone had a problem with me then they had a problem with her HAHA! I LOVE HER!!!
Fitness places are there to make you healthier, but it isn’t always about your physical health. You need the mental to match. You need a supportive group who is there throughout your journey and who takes the time to really know and understand your goals and where you are coming from (and vice versa). It is about finding places that are really about the individual client and not about just the business. It is about finding your fitness family who is there with you in the gym and out and Flywheel and As One have given me things that I didn’t realize gyms could give and I am so incredibly grateful.